The cicadas will begin emerging from the soil in early to mid-May, depending on how quickly weather conditions warm soil temperature. Current conditions could prompt the emergence to begin May 10 to May 12 in the Kansas City and St. Joseph areas.
Cicada nymphs will open half-inch holes in the soil surface as they emerge. Some may build three- to five-inch tall mud chimneys above their holes. Wingless nymphs will climb up on trees and other objects, shed their exoskeletons, and become adults with wings. That leaves brownish paper shells that resemble shed skins attached to trees, porches and posts.
Adults will climb or fly into trees. Males will join together to form choruses to attract females. Or consider it a jam session with instruments. Male cicadas rapidly flex two drum-like structures in their abdomens called tymbals. The flexing produces a click, and the clicks come so fast it produces a raspy hum. They sing during the day with the loudest drone rising during the hottest part of the day.
The cicadas’ emergence will mark the only time this century that a 13-year and a 17-year brood are arriving at the same time in Missouri. And it will be another 221 years before these two broods come out to mate at the same time in the state.
These pictures are from our back yard- they are loud!